In 1994, thanks to the Acheson challenge, 19 couples from the city of St. Clair pledged a total of $100,000 to start the Citizens for St. Clair community fund.
The Citizens for St. Clair fund is led by a committee of local residents empowered to decide the best charitable uses for the funds. The fund supports programs, projects and initiatives within the city of St. Clair and the townships of St. Clair, China and East China.
“The original pledge wasn’t a huge amount- only $1,100 per year for five years from each couple… less than $100 per month,” said committee member Dan Lockwood. “But by joining together they were able to build a substantial fund that really maximized the potential of their gifts and has had significant impact in and around the city of St. Clair.”
The fund has continued to grow to a balance over $600,000, with contributions from more than 50 donors that have compounded over time. More than $220,000 in grants have been awarded back into the community to support various placemaking projects aimed at the revitalization of St. Clair. These projects have included enhancements at Rotary Centennial Park, the St. Clair Plaza Courtyard renovation, scenic turnout improvements, adding sculptures and increasing accessibility at local parks, and support for St. Clair Little League’s field complex.
The fund has also helped enhance local celebrations and events through the support of festivals, fairs, concerts and fireworks displays like the St. Clair Jazz Festival, the city’s Sesquicentennial, and the Riverbank Youth Theatre’s Theater in the Park program.
The Community Foundation has three other community funds that include Algonac/Clay, Marysville, and the Port Huron Community Funds. These funds all have modest beginnings and substantial impact over time. These funds were created by community members for their community to help increase prosperity in their hometowns.
Grants from the Citizens for St. Clair Fund, as well as other community funds, are awarded year round. Those looking to request funding should complete a grant application found here.